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THE SKELETONS IN GOD’S CLOSET

by Bob Roberts Jr
I absolutely loved this book.  You have to read it slowly, or at least I did, and I had to think a lot.  Most “new” books, except for people like Willard, don’t make me do that a lot, at least not at a deep level.   As to his writing style and content – this young man is simply incredible.  I predict we’re going to be reading a lot more of his books, at least I hope.  I’m not sure I understood everything he said, or that I would agree with everything – but candidly I don’t read books that simply reinforce what I already think about stuff.  I read this as a favor to Rick McKinley because he is on staff as the glocal outreach pastor with Rick at Imago Dei in Portland, Oregon.
This book actually deals with questions that people ask – questions most believers want to avoid.  He focuses on three questions:  Hell, judgment, and war.  Theologically he develops them in a very consistent way.  He deals with the Biblical content both in terms of text and context and yet frames things in a very fresh way.
I believe his views are also shaped by what he has seen working with the poor, human trafficking, turbulent people and places, and other inner-city ministries.  That is the BEST context to look at Scriptures.  To try to interpret the Bible absent of people and the struggles they face is to make God cold, impersonal, and an ogre.
He takes three very dark subjects and makes them all objects of hope, justice, and mercy from a God who wants every person to experience him.  Make no mistake, these are dark issues – but not because God is dark.  As the cross was a horrible thing – yet for followers of Jesus it’s pain was a thing of beauty that accomplished our redemption and hope in Jesus.  God is not a Sadist, harming the things he creates, but a loving and merciful God who is about the business of reconciliation.  This books makes that incredibly plain and clear.

Evangelism: Who’s Job Is It Anyways?

Guest post by Beau Crosetto

If you are anything like me then you struggle with this tension too: Who is supposed to make things happen in evangelism, God or me?

When it comes to seeking conversion in our friend’s and families lives, we don’t want to be annoying and pushy, but we don’t want to sit back and wait forever either. Some of us are more temperamentally on the side of things that says, “I need to make something happen” while others of us are more the “If its going to happen then God is going to do it”.

But effective evangelism is more nuanced and partnered than this. Both statements above assume a black or white reality when God is inviting us into the blended.

In my book, Beyond Awkward, that just released last week, I help us dive into the awkward tensions that keep us from sharing our faith. My hope is to help us move beyond them so that we can see breakthrough in the people around us. One of those tensions is “Who’s role is it anyways when it comes to evangelism?” We don’t want to miss the moments God intends for us to have so how am I supposed to engage? Read more